An intelligent boundary switch is a three-phase outdoor power distribution device equipped with a controller. It is installed at the boundary point on the medium voltage overhead distribution lines. It can automatically remove the single-phase-to-ground fault and isolation phase-to-phase short-circuit fault. Firstly, the structure of an intelligent boundary switch is studied, and then the fault detection principle is also investigated. The single-phase-to-ground fault and phase-to-phase short-circuit fault are studied respectively. A method using overcurrent to judge the short-circuit fault is presented. The characteristics of the single-phase-to-ground fault on an ungrounded distribution system and compositional grounded distribution system are analyzed. Based on these characteristics, a method using zero sequence current to detect the single-phase-to-ground fault is proposed. The research results of this paper give a reference for the specification and use of intelligent boundary switches.